Publication Abstracts

Henze et al. 2012

Henze, D.K., D.T. Shindell, F. Akhtar, R.D.J. Spurr, R.W. Pinder, D. Loughlin, M. Kopacz, K. Singh, and C. Shim, 2012: Spatially refined aerosol direct radiative forcing efficiencies. Environ. Sci. Technol., 46, 9511-9518, doi:10.1021/es301993s.

Global aerosol direct radiative forcing (DRF) is an important metric for assessing potential climate impacts of future emissions changes. However, the radiative consequences of emissions perturbations are not readily quantified nor well understood at the level of detail necessary to assess realistic policy options. To address this challenge, here we show how adjoint model sensitivities can be used to provide highly spatially resolved estimates of the DRF from emissions of black carbon (BC), primary organic carbon (OC), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and ammonia (NH3), using the example of emissions from each sector and country following multiple Representative Concentration Pathway (RCPs). The radiative forcing efficiencies of many individual emissions are found to differ considerably from regional or sectoral averages for NH3, SO2 from the power sector, and BC from domestic, industrial, transportation and biomass burning sources. Consequently, the amount of emissions controls required to attain a specific DRF varies at intracontinental scales by up to a factor of 4. These results thus demonstrate both a need and means for incorporating spatially refined aerosol DRF into analysis of future emissions scenario and design of air quality and climate change mitigation policies.